Basketball was officially included in Olympics during the 1936, Berlin games. Before that, it was featured once as a demonstration or exhibition sport. 23 basketball teams participated in the Berlin Olympics. USA basketball team dominated that competition with its unbeaten flawless record and claimed the title without losing a single game.
Since 1976 Olympics, 12 teams take part in Olympic basketball men’s tournament. They have been selected through the following qualifying process:
- 1 place for host nation
- 1 place for reigning FIBA World Champion
- 2 places for winner and runner-up teams from FIBA Americans Championship
- 2 places for winner and runner-up teams from Eurobasket
- 1 place for the winner of FIBA Africa Championship
- 1 place for the winner of FIBA Asia Championship
- 1 place for the winner of FIBA Oceania Championship
- 3 places for three top teams from Olympic Qualifying Tournament
- According to the most recent format, 12 teams are split into two preliminary round groups, each containing 6 teams.
- Top 8 teams (4 from each group) advance to the quarterfinals.
- Best 4 teams play semifinals.
- The winners of the semifinals move forward to play the finals or gold medal game.
- Remaining two semifinalists compete against each other for the bronze medal.
Olympic Basketball Medal Winners
USA is the most successful team in Olympics basketball history. The team leads the overall medal count with 13 gold, one silver and two bronze medals. They won 7 gold medals in a row from 1936 to 1968. The United States team became ever so strong since 1992 when professionals from NBA have started to participate in Olympics instead of the amateurs. These are the teams who got medals in Olympic basketball tournament:
|Year||Location||Gold Medal||Silver Medal||Bronze Medal|
|1952||Helsinki||United States||Soviet Union||Uruguay|
|1956||Melbourne||United States||Soviet Union||Uruguay|
|1960||Rome||United States||Soviet Union||Brazil|
|1964||Tokyo||United States||Soviet Union||Brazil|
|1968||Mexico City||United States||Yugoslavia||Soviet Union|
|1972||Munich||Soviet Union||United States||Cuba|
|1976||Montreal||United States||Yugoslavia||Soviet Union|
|1984||Los Angeles||United States||Spain||Yugoslavia|
|1988||Seoul||Soviet Union||Yugoslavia||United States|
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